Newly-elected Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte of the Congress and city Mayor Uday Madkaikar are among three persons booked by the police for allegedly molesting a woman during an anti-encroachment drive, police said on Saturday. The Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) has undertaken a drive to clear encroachments of off-shore casinos anchored in the river Mandovi.
One of the off-shore casinos had allegedly encroached on a footpath and workers of the civic body had gone to the spot Friday to clear it. Monserratte, Madkaikar and former Panaji Mayor Yatin Parekh were accompanying them. The complainant woman, who was part of the group which opposed the demolition of a staircase constructed by the off- shore casino operator, alleged that Monserratte, Madkaikar and Parekh touched her inappropriately, abused her and outraged her modesty, police said. "In her complaint lodged late last night, the woman also alleged that all the accused threatened to kill her," Panaji police sub inspector Arun Abhay Gawas Desai said.
Based on her complaint, the trio was booked under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), police said. When contacted, Monserratte claimed that no such incident has happened.
He said that he was present at the site only to oversee the demolition work being conducted by the civic body. "None of the persons named in the complaint were involved in any such action of outraging modesty," he said.